Economics of cultural heritage and creativity

This course is part of the programme
Doctoral study programme Cultural Heritage Studies

Objectives and competences

Students must get acquainted with the economics and management of the various component of cultural heritage. An accent will be placed on the role of cultural heritage for creativity and urban context in relationship with the new challenges of the global economy.


No specific prerequisites are required.


h1. I. Introduction: Why Cultural Heritage Matters?

h2. 1. What is cultural heritage?
-Between past and future: The heritage convention
-Monuments, objects archives, know-how and Cultural landscapes

h2. 2. Why cultural heritage matters for sustainable development?
-The economic impact of cultural heritage: Income, jobs and creativeness
-The social impact: From social insertion to social capital
-The environmental impact: A sum of experiences
-The urban design: quality of life and attractiveness

h2. 3. Cultural heritage and Creativity
-Creativity and innovation
-Cultural heritage as a creative industry
-Cultural heritage as a culture for creativeness

h2. 4. Which are the main contemporary challenges?
-The cultural diversity and the multiplication of labels and listing
-The increasing cost of conservation and the lack of funding
-The relationship between Digital and real heritage

h2. 5.From cultural economics to cultural heritage economics
-The lessons from the cost disease
-The lessons from the creative good: ‘Nobody Knows’ and the experience good
-The specification of the cultural heritage good: a creative good; an intangible dimension

h1. II. Value as Foundation of the Economic Analysis of Cultural Heritage

h2. 1. The issue of value
-The types of values: Existence value, Use value, Relational value
-Cultural and non-cultural demand of cultural heritage
-Values through time: Present value, option value, bequest value

h2. 2. The production of value
-Conservation and valorization
-Conflicts between integrity, authenticity and kitsch
-From value chain to value-network and value shop

h2. 3. The validation of value:
-Public support, subsidies, prices and voluntary work

h2. 4. The economic models of cultural heritage
-First model: existence value and non-market resources
-Second model: Use and non-use values, and market and non-market resources
-Third model: Use and non-use value and market resources

h1. III. The Management of Cultural Heritage

h2. 1. The demand for cultural heritage
-The methods of analysis
-The empirical identification of the main factors
-Three methods of ^revision: contingent valuation, transportation cost and hedonic prices
-The atypical profiles of the demand: snobbism and fashion
-Trust as a reduction of the information asymmetry

h2. 2. The supply for cultural heritage
-How to create trust and reduce the uncertainty
-The choice of a price footpath Marketing 3.0
-The strategic use of new technologies

h2. 3. New business models
-Two main issues: attention and piracy
-From free access to premium
-Creating divisibility and appropriation
-Transforming the consumer in a new messenger

h2. 4. Managing the financial resources
-The J-Curve
-The reorganization of the strategy: presale, coproduction and private-public partnership
-Banks, venture capital, crowd-funding and public subsidies

h2. 5. Managing the human resources
-The heterogeneity of the human resources
-Internal and external networks
-Direction and board of administration
-The artisan as a one-person enterprise

h2. 6. Managing the institutional design of the cultural heritage institutions
-Subcontracting and concentrating on the core activities
-Mutualization the costs through networking
-Benefiting from cross fertilization through contiguity and cultural districts
-The two sides of the cultural districts competition effect vs. synergy effect

h1. IV. The Regulation of Cultural Heritage

h2. 1. The objectives
-The quality of conservation
-The democratization of access
-The enrichment of the daily life
-A lever for creativity

h2. 2. The instruments
-The economic policy of listing
-Information and attention as prerequisites for experience
-Training for conservation
-Public policies for funding
-Development rights
-Outreaching and experience

h2. 3. From the market regulation to the ecosystem resilience
-Why thinking in terms of ecosystem and not only of markets?
-The difficulty to go from natural to social ecosystem
-Which is the quality of the ecosystem to preserve?
-An illustration: conservation of know-how as the mobilization of an ecosystem

h2. 4. The system of arts and crafts as a creative ecosystem

h2. 5. Cultural urban landscapes as an example of cultural ecosystem
-Various approaches of the urban landscapes
-Renovating historic core for development
-Zoning and cultural heritage management
-Easements and property law
-New territories for culture
-The issue of architecture

Intended learning outcomes

The course is providing students with the main economic knowledge and tools applied to cultural heritage. Case studies from different sectors are investigated, as monuments and built heritage, objects, know-how and Arts and crafts, cultural and urban landscapes. With this course students should get more familiar with Cultural Economics language and benefit from information for the decision making process.


  • Brandi, C., (2005), Theory of Restoration, Nardini Editore
  • Cominelli, F., (2013) : Economie du patrimoine immatériel : Le cas des métiers d’art, Thèse de Doctorat, Université de Paris I, Centre d’économie de la Sorbonne E-version
  • Danto, A.C., (2013), What Art Is ?, Yale University Press E-version
  • Dean E. Arnold, (1985), Ceramics Theory and Cultural Process, Cambridge University Press E-version
  • Dormer. P., (1997), The Culture of Craft: Status and Future, Manchester University Press E-version
  • Farinelli, G., (2009), De la raison cartographique, Paris: Editions du comité des travaux historiques et scientifiques
  • Gombrich, E., (2002), The preference for the Primitive Episodes in the History of Western Taste and Art, London: Phaidon Press E-version
  • Greffe, X., (1988), L’économie du patrimoine: l’offre et le demande de monuments, Paris: Economica.
  • Greffe, X., (2004), La valorisation économique du patrimoine, Paris: La documentation française
  • Greffe, X., (2007), Artistes et marchés, Paris : La documentation française
  • Greffe, X., (2007), Managing Creative Enterprises, Genève : WIPO-WTO E-version
  • Greffe, X. (2011): “The Economic Impact of The Louvre”, The Journal of Arts Management and Law, N°1, pp 75-101.
  • Greffe, X. (2012), L’artiste-entreprise, Paris: Dalloz
  • Greffe, X., (2013), Artistes et politiques, Paris : Economica
  • Harvey, D., (1989), The Urban Experience, Oxford: Blackwell E-version
  • Jodidio, Ph. (sous la direction de), (2007), Building on The Past the Aga Khan City Program, London: Prestel
  • Kirby, A., (2009), Digimodernism : How new technologies Dismantle the Postmodern and Reconfigure Our culture, New York : Continuum Empire Monde E-version
  • Licciardi, G. & R. Amirtahmasebi, eds., (2012), The Economics of Uniqueness: Investing in Historic City Cores and Cultural Heritage Assets for Sustainable Development, Washington D.C. : The World Bank E-version
  • Mitchell, D., (2006), Cultural Geography: A Cultural Introduction, London : Blackwell Publishing,
  • Molotch, E., (2003), Where Stuff Comes From: How Toasters, Toilets, Cars, Computers and Many Other Things Come to Be As They Are, New York: Taylor & Francis E-version
  • Ostrom, E. &Ch. Hess, eds., (2006), Understanding Knowledge as a Commons: From Theory to Practice, Cambridge, Mass.:The MIT Press E-version
  • Rectanus, Mark, W., (2002), Culture Incorporated: Museums, Artists and Corporate Sponsorships, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. E-version
  • Risatti. H., (2007), The Theory of Crafts: Function and Aesthetic Expression, The University of North Carolina Press
  • Sennett, R., (2008), The Craftsman, London, Penguin Books. Traduction française: Ce que sait la main. La culture de l’artisanat, Paris : Albin Michel, 2010. Sage E-version
  • Zukin, Sh., (1991), Landscapes of Power: From Detroit to Disney World, Berkeley : University of California Press E-version


25% Assessment of the assignments. 75% Individual research and public discussion of the course contents.

Lecturer's references

Xavier Greffe is professor of economics at the University Paris I, where he chairs the economics of arts postgraduate program; Associate professor at the National Graduate Institute for Public Policies, Tokyo; and Adjunct professor to the Auckland Institute of Technology (New Zealand). He chairs the National French Committee on artistic employment in France. He has published articles and books in economics of arts and media, the most recent being: Economie Globale (Dalloz, 2009), La politique culturelle en France (2009, La documentation française), Culture Web (2008, Dalloz), Artistes et marchés (La documentation française, 2007) French Cultural Policy (Bookdom, Tokyo, 2007), Arts and artists from an economic perspective (UNESCO, Paris, 2004) and Managing our Cultural Heritage (Aryan Books, New Dehli, 2002). Previously he has been professor in various French and Foreign universities, and general director for training and apprenticeship in the Ministry of Labour in Paris (1990-1994). Its researches deal with the economics of cultural heritage and the link between culture and development (xgreffe@univ-paris1).